Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Full Body Smile

This morning, you cried at a quarter to seven. I shuffled into your room before my brain had even registered that I was no longer in bed, as I do several times a night. I lifted your squirming body from the crib, settling into the rocking chair as you rooted in the semi-dark, blackout shades drawn against the early morning light, to latch on, searching for more warm milk. Even at almost a year old, we repeat this most nights, many times- too many times.

As you drank, I leaned my head back and closed my eyes- one of my tricks to convey to you that “we are still sleeping around here! It’s not morning!”. At some point I carefully opened my eyes to look down at you and see if you were drifting back to sleep. You weren’t. Curled up around me, your mouth suckling like a starfish, your eyes were wide open. You catch me looking at you and paused in your nursing to give me a smile and then quickly latched back on.

I love when you are curled up like this, your warm soft baby body melting into me. Your arm draped possessively across me, or, less satisfyingly, your sticky fingers exploring my face, scratching me with your nails I am forever cutting at bad angles or trying to fish hook my mouth. When Jack was a baby he would often fall asleep on my chest. I felt like I always had a sleeping baby on top of me and I would say to your father “could you take him?” pointing to the slumbering baby and gesturing towards the swing. Or sometimes if he awoke early, I would steal him back to my bed and he would fall back asleep on top of me, while I went into a semi-sleep, worried he might fall, but too tired to actually get up.

But not you. You twist and turn, always on the move. You’re all smiles, but only a real good cuddler when you are nursing. After you finish, you start squirming around and I fashion my arms like a soft cage to prevent you from falling off my lap. I used to think you wanted to get down, and that if I put you on the floor you would scamper away on some urgent mission. But the two times I tried, you looked up at me with a shocked and hurt expression and started to cry. So I hold you like a bundle of energy performing acrobatics on my lap. Often times, I will tire of this and stick you back in your crib to go back to sleep. And often times, you will cry. But today I thought, “oh well” and I opened my eyes and let you sit up on my lap.

And your entire face formed into a smile as you realized that I was going to interact. “Good morning!!!!” your grin said “I can’t believe you are letting me sit up and look at you! This is so exciting!”. I soaked in your smile, as you happily bounce in place for a few minutes, and rose to open the shades. At this point, you went into your full body smile. Trembling with excitement, you, with amazing strength, bound up and down in my arms, and wiggle every arm and leg with excitement at seeing the morning sun. I have to tighten my grip so you don’t fall to the floor. Because you know. This is it. I won’t put you back in your crib now. You make little noises of happiness, soft shrieks or hiccupy-laughter that are hard to describe. How does a smile sound? That is the noise.

And a new day is born.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stupid Newfangled Internet

I have often considered with a sort of detached sadness-tinged-with-annoyance the fumblings of the older generation when it came to computers. My father, for example, who is exceedingly bright, can become so obtuse when it has to do with his laptop that I want to reach across the phone lines and shake him. Hard.

"Dad, I cannot tell you why that pop up thing that according to your recollection says 'cancel now, but you were successful' is doing that nor can I assess if that is why you can no longer view your Seinfeld DVDs on your computer if that is all you remember." According to my Dad, software randomly disappears and appears on his laptop, possibly by divine intervention.

Not that I am one of those snazzy new kids who grew up with the internet. The internet didnt even crop up until I was in college. COLLEGE for heavens sake. For our high school homework we used the card catalog at the library and the set of Britanica's that I won in a first grade art contest. Back then, they didnt even give grammar school children homework. We went home and roamed the neighborhood with our friends like wild children after school until our parents bellowed out the back door for us to come in for "supper".

As I type this I am hearing my grandparents voice echo in my head "coal delivery...woolen bathing suits...ice box". Oh god, it happening.

For a while there, I was sort of hanging with the technology crowd. When I randomly started this blog I was ranked like 3,000 on technorati with a 540 authority. Why not, it was my emerging generation that launched the internet! We were the pioneers!

My new technorati rating? 3.2M. What the..???

I saw it coming. First, I saw all these new icons pop up everywhere- DIGG, RSS, Track Back-add it to this or that or whatever and I sort of knew what it all was, sort of. Honestly I felt it was getting a little cluttered and annoying.

Just like I find Facebook and My Space annoying and hideously designed. I am suprised more people dont fall over with spontaneous seizures from all the insanely flashing text and ADHD-inspired layouts. I have accounts on some of these sites becuase I had to find out what the fuss was about. I kept them up as a social experiment in "no one over the age of 16 is seriously going to use this are they?" Then I get the occasional email notifying me that "friends" have been on my site, and I go out there and find that previously sane people I know, often with advanced degrees, have given me a piece of "flair" or a mock buttons for my page. Seriously guys. Flair?

Its all just further testament to my emerging cluelessness as the technology outstrips my attention span or available time. My dinosaur scales are showing and my kids, one of which learned to read "Google" before "Run Dick Run", are going to give me a run for my money as I lamely try to put filters on their computers in a few years. They will probably have them fully disabled before I complete the reboot to complete the installation.

But I have to tell you, it's no fun being behind the curve. My legendary fall from technorati grace, and in less than 18 months, smarts. Harsh technorati! Harsh.

Alec's Hair

I recently entered Alec in a Disney Family.com contest for Crazy Baby Hair. How cute is he?


I went through elaborate steps to conceal my identity as a former blogger so they would not feel guilty awarding Alec the grand prize. That, and I couldnt remember my password to my original account and didnt want to wait for my old one to be reset via email. How insanely impatient am I? I entered the contest on the last day and took a picture of Alec 10 minutes before posting it. So yes, this is really his regular hairstyle.

As it happens, inexplictably we did not win (unless I have overlooked 3 emails and a certified letter arriving by June 16th).

Still, I think the picture is so cute so despite our defeat, I'm posting the link.